Wednesday, December 05, 2007

My recent sojourns..

Hi, people! I am back again and this time with a small surprise which you will find at the end of this post. No silly, I am not getting married (yet) and no, don’t think about any fancy thing about my work or workplace either :-)

The last month has seen me traveling a lot. I first went home for Diwali, probably the only time of the year when I cannot make myself stay away from home. And had a very good time back home too, the highlight of the trip being mom made gujiyas. My mother used to have a tough time saving the sweet for our guests when we were kids and she still finds it difficult to save 3kgs of gujiyas for a week. Even though my trip was short (only 3 days), I felt contended. I find it a little funny how easily I am adjusted to the routine there. I start feeling guilty of being late if I don’t take my bath by 8-30 (A.M of course!). While I don’t even bother to get up by that time in Pune. And I feel so happy going back to the place where I have grown up, seen many ups and downs of life, had some strategic spots of my home as my secret hideaways. Usually, when I go home, all I prefer to have is saaf-suthara ghar-ka-khana. This time, I got a chance to go to Indian Coffee House with my mom to have veg-cutlets. It was pure joy to see my mom enjoying it like a kid. We even took a second helping, which is a very rare thing in my family. And I can safely say that they still serve the best and the biggest cutlets! Clap Clap! 

The best thing to have happened was my chance meeting with a schoolteacher of St. Mary’s. I left that school when I was in 6th Standard. Pratibha madam is considered one of the best in that school. And I remember her very fondly because she covered me with her shawl when I was feeling very cold playing the role of a pandit in a fancy dress competition. It was January and I was in class 3rd then. It was understandable that she could not remember me but nonetheless I could see that it was an emotional moment for her. 

I came back to Pune couple of days after Diwali. And after 4 days, I was traveling again to Bhopal. This time to attend a cousin’s marriage in Faridabad. I was to join my mom, dad and grandmother in Bhopal and we were off on my favorite train – Tamil Nadu express. I had almost lost faith in the sleeper coaches of Indian Railways when Tamil Nadu express, with its excellent cushioned berths and cleanliness salvaged the pride. 

Before going to Faridabad, we had a couple of days with us and we had planned to visit Hardwar and Hrishikesh. Though I don’t claim myself to be a very religious person, I was still mystified with the charm and attraction of Ganges. I was a little wary of going into the waters, but I simply could not stop myself once I was in Hardwar. And the beautiful Ganga aarti in the evening is a site worth watching a thousand times. It seems the whole city gathers and joins Anuradha Paudwal’s rendition of Ganga aarti..

Hrishikesh is a small beautiful city in the Siwalik range, foothills of Himalayas. Though, we were going from one temple to another, I was particularly attracted by a small German café situated beautifully at one end of the famous Lakshman jhoola overlooking the Ganga. I just wanted to sit there with a cup of coffee and a book and forget the world. I wish I could do that someday.

We finally came to Faridabad for the wedding. The marriage was as all marriages are supposed to be. Many rituals, then eating, some more rituals and some more eating – that’s Indian marriage for you. Well there was lot of naach gaana as well one day before the marriage and I won’t tell you how much I tortured the junta there with my (? Was it dance?? :-O ). Though there were no injuries reported, I understand the damage was mental than physical.

I tortured further and I can show you the evidence too. And that, by the way, is the surprise I talked about in the beginning of this post. Just play this small piece and you would know what I mean.

girish marriage - ...

And if you have heard this, let me tell you that the female you hear shouting on top of her voice is yours truly. I don’t like displaying my talents publicly and I still don’t. This is displayed because there is no question of talent here. :-| 

But please don’t stop reading my posts because of the surprise. I promise I won’t post such scary things again. :-)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Thoughts of a Music maniac

For someone who has been hearing music since childhood, hearing these “talent hunt” err reality shows a bit more seriously than required comes only naturally. I am a big time music buff and have heard and appreciated all kinds of Indian music from Hindustani classical, Carnatic Classical to apna Bollywood, ghazals – you name it and I have appreciated it. 

Something has been hurting me a lot since the ouster of some of my favorite participants in these shows. And the reason for their failure is the great voting system of India. We never took voting of politicians very seriously, how we are expected to take the selection of a winner of a talent hunt show seriously is beyond my understanding. Well that would not have hurt me much either but there is another thing bothering me. And that is the expectations from the winners of these shows. They are expected to do playback singing and this is what that bothers me the most. I have followed Star Voice of India and Zee Sa Re Ga Ma Pa very closely – the former only because of one singer – Mohammad Toshi Sabri. I think he is the real find this season. I request you all please hear him once. Specially, Teri Deewani, Piya re, Main jahan rahoon, Allah Hu, Mera piya ghar aaya…You can listen to all his renditions here

We have been conditioned so much to hear Bollywood music that we think that is the only kind of music or the only real music. There are many who have commented that Toshi can sing only a particular genre of music. But they conveniently forget that his genre is the original and the most difficult one (though I do not think that he did a bad job with other genres). 

Let me talk about the Bollywood music first. Bollywood music has not been great always. There was a golden era in the 60's-70's when songs regularly used to be semi classical based rendered beautifully by Lata ji, Manna Dey saab, Md Rafi saab and the likes who were classically trained. This was the time when Hindi cinema music did more progress than the movies we were churning..The music was way more mature. Listen to Kuhu kuhu Bole Koyalia, Jyoti Kalash Chalake, Maayi ri Main ka se kahun peer, Madhuban mein radhika naache re, Laga chunari mein daag, Poocho na kaise maine, all the songs of Baiju bawara and the list is very very long. These songs are still considered standard for anyone aspiring to sing without the guidance of a teacher. There were some emotional numbers like Din Dhal jaaye, yeh raat yeh chandani fir kahan, Rahe na rahe hum, waqt ne kiya and I know this list is probably bigger than the earlier one. For those who have heard a lot of classical music, these songs will always remain in a very high esteem.

Then came the era of Mr Kishore Kumar who had a strong power packed voice but who was not trained. But he gave some beautiful numbers and a long and never-ending list of imitators and I cannot help but put Harshit (he will be crowned VOI) in that list. And unless he develops his own unique style, he will not go much ahead.

After Kishore Kumar, there has been a general degradation in the kind of songs being made except an occasional brilliance here and there. There has been a revival of sorts of late in the music of SEL, AR Rehman saab, Vishal Bharadwaj, Pritam and to a certain extent HR (when he prefers to use the voice of other singers)

But is Bollywood music the only kind of music in India? No definitely not. But it is the most easily accessible music for the masses. But IMHO, classical music (Hindustani as well as Carnatic) is still the best and most refined form of music and will always remain so. Ghazal, qawalli, sufi, bhajan all have their roots in the ancient classical music. And it is unfortuante that there are more listeners of Kumar Sanu than Pt. Kumar Gandharva, Pt Bhimsen Joshi ji or Pt Jasraj ji. 

But let us face it. Playback singing is more about making your voice suit to a certain situation to a certain person. The aim of any movie is to reach out to the masses and thus in the process generate revenue for the producers. These talent hunt shows have succeeded in generating high TRP and money but they have failed miserably in giving genuine singers. Only 3 singers have really made a mark in the last 15 yrs. Reason? There can never be so many playback singers as these talent hunt shows generate because the existing ones are doing everything for the producers and music directors. So I will remain skeptical about the future (?) of the winner of these shows in Bollywood singing. 

But we do need many more singers that are classically trained in the future. I doubt that the "filmy" music in this age of "dard-e-disco" will ever give us easy to grasp classical music as it did once. We need singers who can do that independently and I wish Toshi would do it. I won't mind if he does not get a chance to playback for SRK..but I will be only happy to see him doing it in his private albums and live shows.

The voting system has become a necessary evil. Gajji and others cannot live without it now. And singers like Toshi will keep on loosing to this system not once but twice because there will be fewer who would really understand that. How I wish somone starts a classical talent hunt show (sans voting system). Any takers for the show? More than that, any producer having guts to launch such a show?

A long post but then I was too involved to stop myself. I welcome your thoughts on this.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Meri kahaani, blog ki zubaani

Ah! Honestly, people, it takes a lot of effort to make myself write. But the problem is I am not able to stop myself once I get into it. So what am I thinking about today? 

I read a beautiful line somewhere. “Never take life too seriously. Nobody comes out of it alive anyway!” So you see, we spend our entire lives dodging the inevitable but one fine day you finally face the thing that has been chasing you since the day you were born and then you are free to sleep without any interruption from the mobile alarm (2 mobiles if you are on IT support) or your maidservant or doodhwala. Well, I have successfully dodged the inevitable for another year in this lifetime. Also, this happens to be a very special year because I will be completing a quarter of a century and I expect to achieve the quarter feat at least three more times.

But then this makes me think about my life so far. Has it been good? Have I done any justice to it? Have I been a good daughter (umm…interesting question!), a good sister (well, this is the best I could be to him), a good friend (no comments!), a good student (definitely not!), a good professional ( gotta be kidding)? 

Okay! It all started when I troubled my mom for the first time by disturbing her sleep on a reasonably cold night. Octobers are cold in Bhopal, at least they used to be a quarter century back. I have mentioned in my earlier posts that I am a lazy person and I was too lazy to even born. My parents were waiting for me for a complete week. They thought that I would remain in my mom’s womb for the rest of my life. But I finally decided to open my eyes to this beautiful world. I am told that my dad was in tears when he saw me for the first time. I hope it was because of euphoria and not because of a rude shock! :-D Well there are many legends surrounding my birth. One was that my dad was in tears, another one being I used to look like a chipkali (many believe I still do!) and the most sensational and popular one being that I was picked up from a naali. :-| Why do all the parents in this world have to crack that pathetic joke! I will never do it to my kids (or maybe I would. it is a nice way to annoy them! :-D). 

And since then it has been a journey. Sometimes I had company, at other times I was alone. Sometimes I wished I had company, at other times I wished I were left alone. Some people made my life look ordinary; some others made mine extra ordinary. There were moments when the entire world seemed to be at my feet; and then there were moments when I was brought down to my feet. There were days when I could relax (the entire semester would be time to relax and idle) and then there were those that made me work like a donkey (it happens a lot in IT). There have been people who trusted me and then there were those who broke my faith. Some were funny; some made me look funny. It has indeed been a mixed bag and maybe that is how life should be. Of all the good and bad things that have happened, I think this life has been worth living for. :-) 

After living for such a long time, I still don’t know what is that one thing that is waiting for me. I still don’t know what I want to be, where I want to be. Recently a friend questioned on his blog – how many of us start with a single most aim and work towards it till the end? Well, there might be some who do, but I do not fall in that category. I achieved some unexpected things at times and failed miserably at others. But did I learn my lessons? Umm.. I think yes. I might be adamant at times to accept and follow them, but I have learnt them, definitely. My life has followed the path in the following lines..

Apni marzi se kahan apne safar ke hum hain…
Rukh hawaaon ka jidhar ka hai, udhar ke hum hain..

I have no regrets, though, I would try not to make the same mistakes again. And life has been kind to me to give me some important support systems throughout – my parents, my brother and some extremely good friends. 

And special mention about two very special people who have taught me the ways of living. I would have been a very different person without these two and I want to say THANK YOU. One will definitely read this and the other most probably will not! 

So wish me a very happy birthday, pray for me and just come down to Pune for a party!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mushkil kaam hai Bhaiyya

Maintaining this blog is becoming difficult by the day now. I don't get a clue what I should write about. A friend asked me to comment on India's T20 World Cup win. I thought, finally! I have something to write about. But before I could finish up the post, India was already 2 down against the mighty Aussies..So I thought, I will write about the way the Indian Cricket team swings and how unjustified it is to give them the status of Demi-Gods. But before I could finish that one, India pulled a heroic win against the World Champs in the Chandigarh match. So the Indian Cricket team needs to perform consistently so that I am able to write something on this useless server space. 

I also thought writing something about the musical shows - Star Voice of India and SaReGaMaPa. Specially, the oust of Toshi from Star Voice of India. But before I could do anything on that, Toshi was brought back by the TRP boosting Wild Card round. Also, this site has everything about this show and yes you can even hear the videos. (Do check out Toshi's performances in this show..) I thought I would compare SVOI and SRGMP but Poonam's and Amanat's recent performances on SRGMP has removed all the doubts I had about which is the better show. I am however, planning to compile some performances which I consider to be this season's best. But you gotta wait for that.

In the end, there's nothing I had to write about. But, then I wrote a comment on a friend's blog and I thought I will post it in my blog. All I could manage to write was this..

Manzil apni, raaste paraaye,
teri raah poochti woh hawaaein,
kabhi hote the apne bhi afsaane,
aaj gumnaami ke andhere saaye..

samjhana kya, dil jaanta hai,
har safar tanha hi kat ta hai,
koi tanhai mein mehfil dhoondhta hai,
koi mehfil mein tanha ho jata hai..

Btw, I want to thank my friend for the above lines. Words from my keypad, inspiration comes from her blog.. :-) Without her, today would have been another postless day..

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jana Gana Mana

A beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by the country's best performers. 

It brought tears to my eyes alright. Agreed, I cry a lot. Any thing which claims to be emotional, (for eg, seemingly innocuous "Lifebouy's maa ka ladoo" ad), brings floods of NaCl to my eyes. But this album is very very special. The last time I remember seeing all the legends singing together was the unmatchable, unforgettable "Mile Sur Mera Tumhara". I consider it a blessing to be able to hear the voices of Pt Bhimsen Joshi and D K Pattammal. For those who are far far away from Carnatic Classical (and also happen to read this blog), D K Pattammal is the contemporary of M S Subbulakshmi. These two and M. L. Vasanthakumari are popularly referred to as the "female trinity of Carnatic Music". Now if you don't know who M S Subbulakshmi is, please take a glass of water and drown yourself there! Before you do that, get a copy of Bhaja Govindam (by M S Subbulakshmi) from the nearest music store and hear it. Maybe you will get a life. 

Now I know that the National Anthem was not originally written for our nation. The controversy says that Shri Ravindra Nath Tagore wrote it in honor of visiting monarch George V. Another motivation for writing this was reported in the Indian Express in 1968 where a disciple was quoted as:

"He (Tagore) got up very early in the morning and wrote a very beautiful poem.... When he came down, he said to one of us, 'Here is a poem which I have written. It is addressed to God, but give it to Congress people. It will please them."

In a letter to Pulin Behari Sen, Tagore himself wrote:

"A certain high official in His Majesty's service, who was also my friend, had requested that I write a song of felicitation towards the Emperor. The request simply amazed me. It caused a great stir in my heart. In response to that great mental turmoil, I pronounced the victory in Jana Gana Mana of that Bhagya Vidhata [ed. God of Destiny] of India who has from age after age held steadfast the reins of India's chariot through rise and fall, through the straight path and the curved. That Lord of Destiny, that Reader of the Collective Mind of India, that Perennial Guide, could never be George V, George VI, or any other George. Even my official friend understood this about the song. After all, even if his admiration for the crown was excessive, he was not lacking in simple common sense."

Read Wikipedia for more. 

Controversies apart, we have symbolized it to be our nation's anthem. I have been singing it right from my first day in school. It was the first song I ever played on my synthesizer/harmonium/guitar. Maybe a mistake (I personally think Vande Mataram was always a better option). But Pt Nehru's logic that Vande Mataram would be difficult for the band to play has been definitely proved wrong if this new album is anything to go by! Well difficulty is not in playing the tune because people find it so difficult to sing Jana Gana Mana also and the reason is not always the lack of ability to sing. Forget singing, I have seen people running around and looking for their seats when it is played in the multiplexes. They find it very difficult to stand for 52 seconds, expecting them to sing is probably asking for the moon. But this album shows what musical accomplishment these women and men of India have achieved. And these legends arouse that rare feeling of genuine patriotism in you. And all of it when most of these singers and musicians are well past their prime (they are still better than the younger lot!). Thank you Rahman saab. It is a gem.

An inspiring album. You can hear it here.

Would love to know your thoughts on this. :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Death is nothing at all...

A gem I came accross. Wanted to share it with you all...

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away
into the next room.

I am I,
and you are you;
whatever we were to each other,
that, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
which you always used,
put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air
of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we shared together.
Let my name ever be
the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all
that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well.

-by Henry Scott Holland

Friday, July 06, 2007

Late, Later, Latest

Yes I know I have a very bad English but I am not trying to prove that latest is the superlative of late. It is not for nothing that I chose this title. The titles are, probably, the only significant thing in this blog. I know, I have been very late in writing this post and I do not have any excuse this time because most of the people who know me would laugh if I gave the reason of not being active here and so I am not going to tell anyone that I have been working like crazy in office. However, life still moves on and finally, there were enough incidents, which brought me back to the world of blogging.

Well, being world’s laziest person, I am always late. I used to be late for school, I used to be the last one to enter the lectures in college and I am always the last one to enter the meeting room in office – always with a poker face. However, no one missed me ever as I have maintained my position of being the most insignificant member in the group. But the other day, I lost my insignificance when, in the process of grabbing the last seat, I stood in front of the web camera with my back towards it, trying to determine the shortest route possible to the last seat. Incidentally, at that time, I was wearing an IBM t-shirt with “I am the Reason” printed in bright yellow. The “oh-you-just-wait-till-this-meeting-gets-over” look on the face of my grand manager (my manager’s manager) made me understand the importance of being punctual. So now, I have decided to be before time to any meeting and be the first one to grab the last seat.

The other thing I learned is the benefits of networking with important people in the organization. You never know when you might need them. I have been networking a lot with the security guards in IBM. The security guard in IBM would always wave and give a “girl-you-are-late-again” look everyday. I would return a “yeah-man-I-know” look and I guess we developed a special bonding. Of late, I realized that the there is a new security guard and he gives me a real nasty look each morning. I really miss my friend in uniform. So, I could not believe my ears and eyes when I heard him shouting “Hey you! Do you Remember me?” in a famous multiplex. He is now on duty in Inox security and was so happy to see me there. The guy’s really an angel! I was searching for dinner one night (I was late again, sigh!) and he was kind enough to open the gates at mid night (when he was supposed to keep me away since the mall was about to close) so that I could get something to eat from McDonald’s. Therefore, the second lesson I learned is, never be late to a place where you don’t know a security guard.

Now the other thing that has been bothering me is my habit of procrastinating things, my habit of saying “later”. Mom would ask me to study and I would say oh mom, later. Dad would ask me to take my career seriously and I always said later! My boss would request me humbly to get back to work and I would smile and say – later. I guess the only thing I have done eagerly is gana-bajana-khana-peena. But this habit has backfired. I have become a little wary of coding because I thought I don’t need to bother today – I can do it later. I have lost touch with so many friends just because I thought, I would be able to call them later. I have gained a lot of weight because I thought I could always workout later. Now the only consolation left for me is the fact that round is a shape and so I can still consider myself to be in shape. As a child I used to dream a lot – “kaash aisa ho jata..kaash vaisa ho jata”. My uncle said once “Duniya mein sab hota hai, bas yeh kaash hi to nahi hota”. I think I might add that there is nothing like later also. “ bhi hai bas yehi ek pal hai..” So, my sincere apologies to everyone I could not talk. I am clearing my backlog and getting back in touch with all of you – “Aap katar mein hain..krupaya prateeksha karein”.

So that is all about this post. You must be wondering what I wanted to say about “latest”. Well it is nothing but a small joke played on me. The joke is my latest salary slip. It gives me a good laugh every time I see it.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

One helluva experience!

What is the most terrible experience you ever had? Watching India crash out of WC 07? Listening Himesh Reshamiya yet again? Watching some really stupid movie like Vivah or something else? I wouldn’t have been able to answer that till yesterday. You see there are so many experiences to choose from! But I have a very definite answer today. The title for the most hellish experience I ever had goes to visiting the passport office!

Before I go on telling about the experience itself, I would like to tell why I had to make myself go through it. Well simple logic. I went to the passport office because I don’t have a passport till date. Now I have spent close to 3 years in the great Indian IT industry. But I never bothered to apply for a passport. Ideally, I should have applied for it when I was in college itself. But at that time, I used to think that only two types of people apply for a passport – first those who give GRE and second those who get placed in CSC or TCS. In my college days, only these two companies came and took a few students. I was not eligible to sit in the former (since I was not from Comp Sc background) and the latter rejected me in grand style (for the records, it rejected me twice and it is probably the only company which knows my abilities!) Well there did come a few more companies but before that I got placed in a firm which did not bother to ask for passports. After I came to Pune, I needed to spend atleast one year in the city to apply for passport. I spent one year and by the time the second year started I had completely forgotten about this all important artefact! But then one fine morning, my TL realized that I am the only one in the entire team not having the passport and he wanted me to get one asap. (Please note that I am not going nowhere. They need my passport just for the records)

And so there I go to this hell people call Passport Office. Luckily I had all the documents I needed. I had some problems earlier and I will not tell anyone what my first experience was like. So this time I had my birth proofs, my residence proofs, some affidavits, some bills. I had even kept all the certificates I ever won in some music competition or GK competition, just in case. The long journey from my place to the PPO has one advantage. I have a habit of remembering things suddenly while driving and so I could stop at all the photocopy shops and complete the required document sets. I had left at around 9 am and reached there by 10. The line for getting a token was already out of the office and I was around the 100th one. I got the token in about ½ an hour but since there were two counters for document verification, my number was 53 on counter A. The Pune passport office is a small, suffocated room with 9 cramped counters. I think the room cannot hold more than 150 people at a time but during peek hours there can be 700-800 people there. It happens often that people stand in Q for getting a token and by the time they reach the counter they realize that they are at the enquiry counter. There is also a very good probability of loosing all your original documents in such mad rush as is evident with the many Lost and Found graffiti all over the place.

Now for all those who are planning to apply for passport from Pune, BEWARE! Pray that you don’t get counter A. But if you are in desperate need of passport, you will definitely be directed to counter A. The gentleman behind that counter is a man alright but there is no trace of gentleness in him. Your future, in terms of getting your passport and your past, in terms of all the certificates you have ever owned right from your birth, are in the hands of this man, literally. So pray to the Almighty that his wife remains in a very good mood on the day you plan a visit to the passport office and that his children behave properly with him. Also pray that his neighbours remember the commandment “Thou shalt love thy neighbour”. Pray for anything and everything you can think about because this man, if he is in the slightest of bad moods, can do things to your documents you can never imagine. Your original documents will be flying across the room and you would not know how to get them. And also try to put a poker face when you go to meet him. Make sure your face does not resemble a homo sapien because he develops a liking for human faces and wants to see them again and again. He will make you come there atleast twice and you need to face the whole ordeal from the scratch. I realized that most of the people around me were veterans with 4-5 visits in their kitty and I felt that I am still new to the place. By the time my number came, I had heard stories of how people were sent back for not getting a 3rd set of photocopies when the whole world (as the rules mandate) gets only 2. Or the only purpose of the Enquiry counter was to prepare you for the kind of bad treatment you are about to receive from people at various counters.

After hearing these tales, I was quite sure that my nightmare with PPO has just begun. There will be more photocopies, more lines, more stories and more pains. Finally, the number A53 flashed and I went to the counter with a very heavy heart. I just wanted to tell the officer on the other side of the counter to be a little more patient with my documents, if nothing else. My birth certificate is as old as I am myself, and the condition of that document is not healthy. I gave a smile to the officer and stood my ground and prayed (for the health of my documents!). I soon realized that I was sweating badly. My heart rate was 150 beats per minute. I thought I was about to faint when the officer handed me back my originals and asked me to go to the payment counter. I have never cleared any major entrance exam with great ranks. But the feeling of being a topper in CAT or in IIT JEE would be similar to the one I felt as I moved to the next counter. And for the first time I realized that not resembling a human has its own benefits!

As I came out in the unbearable hot summer afternoon, I realized that it is not a bad world after all. Very few times you get to see people with genuine concern for others. I felt that in the PPO. People were actually congratulating complete unknowns for getting the documents verified. There were others who, while waiting for their turn, were explaining the lost warriors on how to bounce back!

But this was an experience I would never want to go through again. But then you got to do what you got to do, no?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Of Cricket, movies, fridge and TV

I recently realized one thing. I sit to update my blog the day I forget how my blog actually looks. So the first thing that came to me this morning was how my blog looks like. And I just could not remember the template. So I thought I would revisit it and write something.

With the World Cup fever on, I thought I should write something about Cricket. But then already more than 1 billion compatriots are writing about it or discussing it in schools, colleges, offices, Parliament etc. Also, the wonderful situation that the Indian team has managed to be in leaves little to comment on. More than our game, we need to see how the two so called minnows, Bangladesh and Bermuda, play, their margin of victory, their run rates etc etc. We might also want to worry about the health of the coaches! Guess, now even the coaches will have to undergo a fitness test to be a part of the squad. But this world cup has made me realize one thing. It is time we stop taking cricket too seriously. The whole country sits and watches these matches. Only to see them lose to the weakest team! The entire nation worries about the form of Mr. Sehwag, who after scoring a century against Bermuda after nearly two years has the guts to say that he was never really worried about his form! What is more, this game is now taking toll on people’s lives. And to top it all, we get masala news like this Come on! We don’t play sports like this. Being obsessed with cricket, we think we are being patriotic. Somebody rightly remarked in one of the forums – “We take patriotism sportingly and sports patriotically.” Well, it is not worth it. Just not worth it!

I also thought, that I might want to write something about the next obsession – movies. The last movie I saw was Apocalypto. I don’t want to say much about that movie. It will make me revisit it and I think I will faint if I think about that heart held in the hand or the head being chopped and rolling down! Blood and gore is what it is all about. I had to go to the other extreme and watch “Hum Saath Saath Hain” to come out of the spell of Apocalypto.

So the two things I was obsessed with have kind of let me down. But I have developed a new interest now. The best channel in this universe – POGO! I have been watching “Just for laugh gags” and “Takeshi’s castle” for a week now and every time I break into non stop laughter. Varsha swears she never saw me in this dangerous avatar ever. Another good thing to have happened to me is the fridge we bought to beat Pune heat. I get ice-cream (every second day) and put it in the freezer and enjoy it! That the ice-cream remains in the freezer for only 5 minutes is a different thing altogether.

So you see, I really don’t have anything to write about. But I promise to write something as soon as I get something to write about or as soon as I forget my blog template (whichever happens later). Till then this can rust in peace!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Once upon a time..

It is one of those days when I am feeling very nostalgic. I don’t know how normal “smelling” the past is, but I smell it quite often these days. I don’t have any other word to describe that longing for the past. Everything looks and feels, suddenly, like the good old days. Even the air smells exactly as it used to then. But then there is no one around. The sudden realization that time has flown by and that there is nothing remotely close to my past today makes my heart ache.

How good it was when the biggest worry I used to have was to clear an examination. How simple life was when the greatest pleasure was to talk to my best friend over phone. How easy life was when the only expenditure was on petrol (which used to cost Rs 22/- per liter), greeting cards and cassettes and the pocket money (Rs 50 /- per month) I used to get was sufficient for all my needs. I think I now agree that school days were one of the best and brightest days of my life.

I felt like a bird then driving my red TVS Champ. I would always take the longest route possible to go practically anywhere. I would gladly go out to buy household stuff to the market close by because mom would allow me to keep the change. Even inside the house, I would never walk. I would run and then jump and try to touch the upper rim of the door. I never realized how soon the “jumping” was not required because I was now tall enough to touch it and how soon I forgot this activity. I still remember how I would wait for Sunday evenings to watch Spiderman and later Mowgli with my brother every Sunday morning. The Sunday afternoons were devoted for Mahabharat and mom would make us sit and watch it. I distinctly remember those days when I would wait for dad to return in the evening. I would know the sound of dad’s scooter so well. And then he would drive me around our locality, a daily activity which we used to call “round lagana”.

The magical summer vacations would comprise of Rasana, Mayur Park, ganne ka ras every night and nani ka ghar. I would stay there and play and fight with my cousins. It was so wonderful to stay awake and talk till my grandfather would grumble about the new age kids! I still remember going to parties (usually wedding receptions of some uncle / aunty or their distant relative) with mom dad and have a good time eating pani puris and ice-creams and in the more lavish receptions we could have “baraf ka gola” as well.

The school teachers were wonderful human being (agreed some of them were nasty). The punishments and penalties for talking would range from kneeling down to cane beating. Or the class monitors would write the names on the board. In my case, my name used to be beautifully underlined with some stars around it – a penalty for talking twice, thrice or non-stop. The teacher’s day celebrations, the practices for annual function or sports day were the most awaited events of the year! It was all so great and wonderful then.

I don’t say that the present is bad. Probably, 10 years down the line, the present would also be a part of a glorious past. But sometimes, past is all that matters. Sudarshan Faakir has penned it beautifully in the following lines:

Yeh daulat bhi lelo,
yeh shoharat bhi lelo,
Bhale cheen lo, mujhse meri jawani
Magar mujhko lautado bachpan ka saawan
Woh kagaz ki kashti,woh baarish ka paani

I think it is just one of those days.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Kya likhun main?

Of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most. A certain UFO has taken my last post very seriously and as promised I had decided not to write anymore. But then, well, I could not stop myself. So here I am back again. 

Now what do I write about. Dada is back on track, infact the only one on track, Reshamiya is still rocking, reservation will happen and I have not been kicked out of IBM till now. The small piece of code I wrote has been deployed by God’s grace and it is working; only God knows how. And they are trying very hard to keep me away from computer so I really don’t have anything to tell you anything about anything happening in office. (err..anything wrong with the last sentence I wrote?) 

OK. I can tell you a couple of things though. I have changed my flat. The ek kamare ka ghar has now given way to a proper 1 BHK flat. The old flat was so small that it was getting impossible to fit Varsha in, I mean her stuff in. You know, she has this big wardrobe and I reckon she has some kind of a database where she keeps track of all the tops and suits she has. I have been sneakily wearing some of her tops and I thought she would not recognize that they were one of hers, but then I could never fool her. And it still amazes me how she remembers how she acquired all her tops and the long story associated with each of her suit. Smart girl she is, no doubt! My stuff has been far less than hers as far as wardrobe is concerned. That I have more books (novels and stuff which I never read!) than her tops is a different matter altogether. Shifting the stuff was quite an ordeal. And thanks to Shalabh and Nitin(yes we needed some manpower for the shifting ;-)), things are settled now. Though there is still a little difficulty in getting Varsha’s wardrobe in. 

But then she did a fine job in keeping things in place. So much so, that my mom liked my flat for the first time in 2.5 years. Infact, she was ecstatic. Mom and dad were in Pune for 3-4 days. It was refreshing to have some authentic rasam prepared by mom. I had almost forgotten how it tastes because whenever I try my hand in, it tastes anything but rasam. Do moms do some magic trick when they are in kitchen? Thankfully mom did not do any of her “jawan ladaki ki ma” roles and so their stay went off very peacefully. Probably she understands me now. Or maybe she agrees with my brother that I need time to grow up. Whatever be the case, it came as a relief. 

The New Year weekend was very boring. We had nice Chinese food in MG Road. I was made to stay up till 12 after which Varsha and Ankita wished me and allowed me to sleep. I broke some New Year resolutions on 1st and that was how New Year was celebrated. 

Well this post has been longer than I intended. But then, you see I could not help myself. But I can assure you I did not use brains to write this. The brain’s gone for good to a certain alien and he/she had a good Xmas dinner of it.